O'Brien Estate Winery
Red Blend •Oak Knoll District
California: Napa Valley
What We Say
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Each bottle of today’s wine ships in the special red fabric bag shown in the photo
SUPERIOR WINE ALERT:
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Mission Codename: The power of Seduction
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Secure an ample quantity of a lush Napa red blend for our romantically inclined Operatives
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: O’Brien
Wine Subject: 2005 O’Brien Estate Seduction
Winemaker: David Yorgensen
Backgrounder: Napa Red blends, particularly those from the Oak Knoll District, have been extremely popular with our Operatives. For today’s wine, we sent Agent Red in search of a luxurious red blend from Oak Knoll. His keen nose for blends containing his favorite varietal, Cabernet Franc, led him immediately to O’Brien Estate in Napa. Read Agent Red’s mission report and tasting notes below
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – A stunning ruby red with a deep heart of pure garnet. Perfect clarity with concentration of color maintained all the way out to the edges of the glass. When swirled, this wine spins and spins, finally leaving behind forking skinny legs that move slowly down the glass
Smell – Deeply aromatic, slightly perfumed, leading red currant, mixed red and dark berries, dusty cassis and a hint of softest earthen spice
Feel – Initially wet, light and round at the front of the palate – then full-bodied, slightly drying and mouth-coating with supple medium tannins that fade to reveal follow-on flavors
Taste – Dark cherry, cassis, plum skin, and mixed berries are balanced against softer earthen flavors of twigs and sweet wood
Finish – An long and clean finish that eases down smoothly and slowly, while revealing new flavors as it tapers off
Conclusion – A remarkably seductive and elegant wine with delicious flavors, an easy feel with a sincere edge, and great aromatics. This is a wine of great balance and character that will surprise you with its charm. The Cabernet Sauvignon, the Cabernet Franc and the Merlot all get along swimmingly, and don’t bully each other around as can happen in some blends. Instead, the components varietals each play a more polite and complimentary role. If this wine were a dance, the Cabernet Sauvignon would be a firm but gentle lead, the Merlot would tenderly and demurely follow, and the Cabernet Franc would gently choreograph. Together the three combine to present a masterful and romantic tango.
The life of a wine spy can be a lonely and isolated affair. Field reconnaissance or undercover missions can keep me away from loved ones for days or even weeks at a time. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work. It is incredibly rewarding to sleuth great wines for our Operatives.
Waaaaaaa!, right? Poor Wine Spy, poor International man of wine-intrigue. Okay, I admit it. I sometimes wallow in self pity. Don’t we all get a little blue sometimes?
On a particularly grueling mission recently, I found myself staked out – in the rain – waiting for a local asset to stash a wine in our previously-arranged dead drop. He was late, I was wet and I had not been on a date with Agent Sparkle for what seemed like an eternity.
More rain. More waiting… and then a solitary figure appeared at the edge of the city park. The figure headed for the bench, my dead drop, but the passed right by it. Something was definitely wrong. This person was decidedly more lithe than my bulky field asset.
I crouched lower into the ditch, in the process filling my rubber boots with water. The figure was coming directly toward me now. I crouched lower and, in doing so, slipped in the mud – getting a mouth full of muddy water in the process.
Fearing that I had been spotted, I held perfectly still, listening intently. A loud click-click sound rang out from above me. I braced for the worst… and then realized that the rain has stopped beating down on me.
The sound of soft laughter followed, as did a hand on my shoulder.
“It’s me, silly!”
I asked her, “What are you doing here?” Her smile, warmed me, making me forget my miserable situation.
“I hope that you don’t mind, but I hacked into your mission logs and found out that you would be here. I headed off your asset and got the bottle from him. let’s go find somewhere warm and cozy to open this baby up!”
With that, my spirits were elevated. Within a few minutes we were at our nearest safehouse, fireplace blazing, wine decanted, soft music playing in the background.
For the balance of the evening we thoroughly enjoyed Bart O’Brien’s exquisite 2005 Seduction while chatting, laughing and [REDACTED].
If you are looking to lift the spirits of someone you love, or want the perfect wine for your romantic encounters, this wine is highly recommended!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the O’Brien Estate vineyards can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the Winery Says
O’Brien Estate Winery, Member, Napa Valley Vintners
Awards & Accolades:
90 Points – Wine Spectator
Gold Medal – Los Angeles Competition
About This Wine:
Deep, dense purple throughout, this wine displays wonderful aromas of sweet black cherry, warm licorice, cedar, oak and toasted espresso bean. Intense currant, berry and crème de cassis flavors on the palate are framed by fine grained tannins in this full bodied, supple, well concentrated blend.
Seduction is a proprietary red blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot from the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley appellation.
About The Winery:
Barb and Bart got married the year after they met, had 2 children (Emily and Mason), and Bart pursued a career starting various companies..
He told Barb he was an entrepreneur when they met. Her response was “I am going to have to marry you because all my sisters are married to Irish entrepreneurs”.
Barb had signed up for quite an adventure. They bought a house together in Piedmont when she became pregnant with Emily, then the house was sold after Emily was born to finance a temporary Halloween theme park venture called Scaregrounds.
After Scaregrounds failed, Bart went back to high tech and joined Bill Paseman to found Calico Commerce, a software company to configure complex products such as computers for the new sales channel called the internet.
After seven long years of living in rental property that was constantly being sold from underneath them, Bart’s first software startup, RSA Data Security, was acquired by Security Dynamics for $500 million. Bart had sold most of the stock to finance their wedding, honeymoon, and the purchase of their first house, but fortunately just enough stock was left to purchase their second house in Los Altos Hills in 1997.
Then Calico Commerce went public in 1999 at a valuation of $1.8 billion.
Bart only sold a small portion of his stock before the high tech crash of 2000 and subsequent failure of Calico, but this was enougth for a down payment to purchase the Costello Vineyard to make Barb’s “dream of owning land in Napa Valley” come true.
On the property are 33 acres of vineyards, a bonded winery, and their home. When you visit, you will be treated to an intimate experience in their backyard sitting at picnic tables under oak trees.
Bart and Barb live on the estate with their two children, Emily (19) who is now off to Western Washington University, their son Mason (16) who is attending Justin Sienna High School, and their dog Sasha (9) who models for the Wine Dogs of Napa Valley book.
Wine Type: Red Wine
Varietal: Bordeaux-style Blend
Appellation: Oak Knoll District, Napa Valley
Titratable acidity: 0.64 g/100ml
L-malic acid: <0.05 g/L